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Elephant Rumblings: A rebuild reality check

MLB news roundup

MLB: Oakland Athletics-Press Conference D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

Let me tell you something: this weekend was all about that other sport that’s played with a prolate spheroid. Rarely do I encounter such a dearth of newsworthy stories about the A’s, or even baseball in general. Drew Silva at MLB Trade Rumors seemed to be piloting a ghost ship all weekend, penning the lion’s share of Sunday’s news for the site.

Among Silva’s more interesting reports yesterday was of Josh Harrison’s new deal with the Phillies. Harrison got one year and $2 million from Philadelphia, which is one cool million less than the A’s will pay one of their new acquisitions, Jesus Aguilar, in 2023. Personally, I like the Harrison deal better.

There was one particularly interesting story on the A’s that came out yesterday, courtesy of our friend John Bitzer at Baseball Trade Values, with Athletics Nation regular Grover contributing to the piece. However, it is not particularly optimistic about how the A’s teardown is going.

You’re probably well aware that the A’s have been getting fleeced on the majority of their trades according to BTV’s model. In total, the A’s have traded eight veterans worth $190.4 million since the teardown began for a total return value of just $113.1 million. One result: a 27th ranked farm system per Baseball America.

One counter to that is that the A’s are clearly using a different valuation model, which is good, because unless you outsmart the big money teams by identifying what those teams are undervaluing and exploiting that market inefficiency, the big money teams will always win.

That’s a reasonable enough argument, but Bitzer pretty effectively illustrates that marching to a different drummer isn’t working out so well for the A’s. They’ve acquired 18 prospects since the rebuild began, and only Ken Waldichuk, J.P. Sears, and Adrián Martínez have gained value since the A’s signed them.

No, Bitzer’s piece did not give me the warm fuzzies. Rather, it convinced me that the front office may indeed be blowing it. Go read it yourself and then come back and tell me ... this is fine?

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That time the sweep was rudely interrupted by a huge earthquake.